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YANGON, Myanmar – Pope Francis begins his first full day in Myanmar traveling to the country's capital to meet with the civilian leader, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, a day after hosting the military general in charge of the crackdown on the country's Rohingya Muslim minority.
Francis' speech Tuesday to Suu Kyi, other Myanmar authorities and the diplomatic corps in Naypyitaw is the most anticipated of his visit, given the outcry over the crackdown, which the U.S. and U.N. have described as a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" to drive out the Rohingya.
Myanmar's Catholic leaders have stressed that Suu Kyi has no voice to speak out against the military, and have urged support for her efforts to move Myanmar toward a more democratic future that includes all its religious minorities, Christians included.